Ernesto Valverde, Josep Maria Bartomeu on Lionel Messi After 100th European Goal

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2017

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 18:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona in action during the UEFA Champions League group D match between FC Barcelona and Olympiakos Piraeus at Camp Nou on October 18, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde and club president Josep Maria Bartomeu praised Lionel Messi after the forward scored his 100th European goal for the club on Wednesday. 

Messi netted a free-kick in the 3-1 win over Olympiakos to help Barcelona to a big three points in the UEFA Champions League and in doing so brought up the landmark total. Speaking after the match, his manager joked he was hoping the 30-year-old would score another 100 goals this term, per Javier Miguel of Sport.

"Well let's hope he continues and see if he can score his 200th this season," the Barcelona boss said. "Although that would be a bit difficult, it's clear that he's breaking all the barriers."

(L-R) coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the Trofeu Joan Gamper match between FC Barcelona and Chapecoense on August 7, 2017 at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Messi's incredible start to the season continued at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, as he helped Barcelona make it three wins from three games in this year's Champions League.

It was a night to remember for the great man:

OptaJose provided details on how those 100 goals were scored:

Not only did the goal mark a century in European matches for Messi, but it was also his 50th of the calendar year for club and country combined. With more than two months of 2017 left, the Blaugrana man will be confident of adding plenty more to that haul.

Speaking about Messi's year, Bartomeu suggested he deserves to win the Ballon d'Or for his efforts.

"I would give him all the prizes in world football," he told Barca TV (h/t Dejan Kalinic of Goal). "No one can compete. He has created an era, and he still remains at this sublime level."

Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu answers questions from journalists during a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 2, 2017.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed today two of the club's board members resig
JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

After winning the Champions League and La Liga earlier in the year, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to win individual awards, as he's shone at the point of football's strongest team. But Messi has enjoyed one of the best spells of his career over the past 12 months.

As Barcelona fan Rafael Hernandez noted, there have been plenty of times when Barcelona's No. 10 has hauled his team through a match almost by himself:

Messi has been important on the international stage too. His hat-trick in the 3-1 win over Ecuador for Argentina recently rescued the Albiceleste's FIFA World Cup hopes.

Even though he continues to shoulder a lot of responsibility and feature in almost every game for the Blaugrana, there is no sign of Messi slowing down. His ability to dictate play, create chances and score goals is unparalleled in world football.

While a 200th European goal this season is beyond even his talents, having come up short in the title race and the Champions League last season, Messi will be hoping his team can challenge for the big prizes again this term.